Adirondack Thunder hold off Manchester

MANCHESTER, NH — The Adirondack Thunder earned their sixth win from their last nine games after a 5-4 victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday evening at SNHU Arena.

After neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first period, Adirondack opened the scoring 45 seconds into the second, courtesy of defenseman Desmond Bergin. After Thunder forward James Henry worked the puck free behind the Manchester net, the puck deflected into the high slot where Bergin stepped in from the right point and one-timed it past Monarchs’ netminder Evan Crowley for his fourth goal of the season. Henry and forward Ty Loney collected the assists on the play, Loney’s seventh of the season.

The Monarchs answered with a pair of goals, however, in a span of two minutes and 40 seconds to take their first lead of the evening at 2-1. First, Manchester forward Zac Lynch, stationed in the high slot, redirected a Matt Leitner shot past Adirondack netminder Nick Riopel for his fifth goal of the season. The hosts struck again at the 8:59 mark of the middle stanza. After Riopel made the original point-blank save on Manchester forward Joel Lowry, the puck kicked to forward Tommy Kelley at the back post where he slammed it home for his first goal of the season.

The Thunder responded with a pair of power-play goals less than three minutes apart to regain their one-goal advantage. At the 10:50 mark of the middle stanza, Kevin Lough extended his scoring streak to seven games as he took a feed from defensive partner Dylan Olsen, walked to the top of the right-hand circle and fired his shot past the blocker hand of Crowley for his second goal of the season. Olsen and forward Shane Conacher collected the assists on the play, the 11th helper of the season for Conacher.

Adirondack scored again two minutes and 54 seconds later at the 13:44 mark of the second period as Olsen found the back of the net for his third goal of the season. With the Thunder again on the man advantage, Olsen snuck down from the right point and tapped home a pass from Loney at the back post for go-ahead goal. Loney and Conacher tallied the assists on the play, the second assist of the evening for both players.

Courtesy of another early-period goal, the Thunder opened up their only two-goal advantage of the evening just 32 seconds into the third period. Forward Brian Ward fed the puck to Loney, who walked into the offensive zone and fired a shot over the blocker hand of Crowley from the slot for his team-leading 11th goal of the season. Ward and Olsen collected the assists on the play with Loney and Olsen each picking up their third points of the evening.

Manchester bounced back to knot the score at four with a pair of goals just 98 seconds apart, beginning with Matt Schmaltz’s tally 8:01 into the third period. Schmaltz took a feed in the neutral zone from defenseman Eric Schurhamer, drove wide into the attacking end and fired top shelf on the forehand for his second goal of the season. The Monarchs scored again at the 9:39 mark, this on the power play, to tie the game at four. Lynch hit defenseman Colton Saucerman at the right point and his shot was deflected home by Lowry, who earned his third point of the game with the goal.

The back-and-forth scoring continued as Adirondack took the lead once again with 6:52 left in regulation. Stationed on the right-hand hall wall, Loney fed a pass to a streaking Bergin at the back post, who saw his shot denied by Crowley, but the rebound fell right to Ward who buried it for his fifth goal of the season. Loney and Bergin collected the assists on the play, the fourth point of the evening for Loney, tying his ECHL career high.

The Thunder have just two games remaining on their 12-game road trip, with both games coming next week against the Reading Royals, beginning one Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. at Santander Arena. The Thunder are next home on Saturday, November 25 at 7:00 p.m., which begins a seven-game homestand at Cool Insuring Arena.

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